In the mid-1980s, we were gifted with not one, but two weird and wonderful teen comedies from director “Savage” Steve Holland – Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer. And while both have gained a substantial cult following in the years that followed, thanks to the explosion of the home video market and near non-stop repeats on premium channels like HBO, Better Off Dead – in which John Cusack struggles to find a reason to live after the love of his life dumps him for the captain of the school ski team – has always seemed like the more popular of the two. But there is good news for fans of his other film, One Crazy Summer. Holland looks like he may be going back to Cape Cod for a long-delayed sequel to the film that saw Cusack, Demi Moore, Bobcat Goldthaite, Curtis Armstrong, Joel Murray and more tearing up Cape Cod.
Speaking with Fastco Create about the history of both Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer, Holland revealed –
“I’m doodling with Bobcat Goldthwait on a semi-sequel to One Crazy Summer,” he says. “Our lives are just really different but I still love him and we say we gotta do this thing. So we are working on One Epic Fall. Of course, Joel [Murray] is gonna be in it. The question is, how do we make it a sequel when Cusack’s not gonna be in it? But we have so many bad, dumb, great jokes we’re piecing together to see if we can pull it off. I don’t think Demi would be on board, but with Joel, Bobcat and Curtis, you’ve already got a trifecta of genius there.”
If you have to ask why John Cusack wouldn’t want to reunite with Holland, you probably haven’t heard the stories where the younger Cusack expressed some dissatisfaction with how Better Off Dead turned out. After watching a rough cut, Cusack felt that the movie wasn’t as weird or dark as he was expecting it to be. Unfortunately, this viewing happened right in the middle of production of One Crazy Summer and most would involved with the film would admit that Cusack’s disappointment affected his attitude on set and his performance. More recently, Cusack reportedly has mellowed about the films.
Of course, the idea of a follow up to a Cusack-led comedy without Cusack does stir up memories of Hot Tub Time Machine 2.
But we shouldn’t let that overshadow the idea of Holland finally getting behind the cameras again for a big screen feature. Besides Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer, the only other film he directed was How I Got Into College. For that comedy, Holland was brought in at the last minute to replace original helmer Jan Eliasberg. Since then, he has worked in television animation creating the series Eek! The Cat and working on such live action series like The New Adventures Of Beans Baxter and Lizzie McGuire. However, a return to the big screen from Holland would be a welcome thing indeed.